Humanism in Husserl and Aquinas

Contrast between a Phenomenological Concept of Man and a Realistic Concept of Man

by Joseph McCafferty (Author)
©2003 Thesis 108 Pages


The skeptical consequences of the psychologist and historicist thinking prevalent in the intellectual climate of the beginning of the twentieth century made it impossible to establish morality, religion and other humanistic sciences on an absolute foundation. Husserl saw in this situation factors which were causing real illnesses of the human spirit. It is the thesis of this work that Husserl, though well-motivated by the best humanistic intentions, fails to furnish an adequate cure for the ills of the human spirit. He fails because his phenomenology lacks a metaphysical foundation and because the aim he has in mind – to remedy the sickness of the human spirit – cannot be attained through the power of human reason alone. In St. Thomas Aquinas we find a more adequate remedy for curing the sickness of the human spirit because of a metaphysically sound doctrine on man and the absence of a purely «this-world» orientation in thought. The conclusion of this work is that St. Thomas’ thought is the more adequate one to respond to the Husserlian problem of the human spirit’s sickness.


ISBN (Softcover)
Husserl, Edmund Phänomenologie Philosophische Anthropologie Aquinas, St. Thomas Western Culture Europe Metaphysical Foundation Philosophical Anthropology Nature
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2003. 108 pp.

Biographical notes

Joseph McCafferty (Author)

The Author: Joseph McCafferty; born in 1933 in Philadelphia, Pa.; after elementary and high school education, he entered St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Philadelphia, Pa. where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1956; Master’s degree in Philosophy from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa. in 1971; Doctoral studies at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa. from 1971-1974. Doctoral work at Lateran University, Rome, with doctoral degree attained in 2002. From 1975 he has been a professor of philosophy and religious studies at the then Holy Family College, now Holy Family University.


Title: Humanism in Husserl and Aquinas